Mathematical modelling of activated sludge systems is used widely for plant design, optimisation, training, controller design and research. The quality of simulation studies varies depending on the project objectives, finances and expertise available. Consideration has to be given to the model accuracy and the amount of time required carrying out a simulation study to produce the desired accuracy. Inconsistent approaches and insufficient documentation make quality assessment and comparison of simulation results difficult or almost impossible. A general framework for the application of activated sludge models is needed in order to overcome these obstacles.